Tuesday 13th February 2024 is Shrove Tuesday, also known as Pancake Day. It is a day in which many of us get creative in the kitchen to make delicious pancakes! With so many tasty toppings to choose from, we are spoilt for choice but what many people aren’t aware of is that there are fruity toppings which can support a restful night’s sleep. Check out the reel below to find out more.
Which fruits can help to aid sleep?
There are a number of fruits amongst the range of food-types that are suggested to facilitate improved sleep. We have highlighted just a few of the many examples below:
Kiwis: Research has shown that the consumption of kiwis in the evening may improve the onset duration, and efficiency of sleep as they contain antioxidants and serotonin.
Cherries: The consumption of Tart Montmorency cherries has been found to increase sleep time and efficiency as they contain melatonin, the hormone conducive to sleep. However, it is suggested that you would need to eat twenty five tart cherries or one hundred (yes, one hundred!) sweet cherries in order to receive sufficient quantities of melatonin to impact your sleep cycle. Because of this, many people who consume cherries as a sleep aid opt to have them in the form of a concentrated juice.
Pineapples: Similar to cherries, pineapples are said to increase melatonin levels, meaning that they also have the potential to aid sleep when consumed in the evening.
Bananas: Potassium and magnesium are natural muscle relaxants and bananas are a source of both of these. They are also a source of tryptophan, an essential amino acid that helps to promote sleep.
Figs: Like bananas, figs are also a source of tryptophan, potassium and magnesium and are therefore suggested to aid better sleep.
Who knew that so many fruits could help to promote a better night’s sleep? If you are making pancakes this Pancake Day, why not top them with some fruity goodness to help you to drift off in the evening? Of course, getting a good night’s sleep is also dependent on other factors such as having a sleep environment that allows you to unwind and switch off.
How can you optimise your sleep environment?
Research has suggested that due to its alerting blue light and stimulating content, use of your phone at least 30 minutes before bed can lead to poor sleep quality. Switching off from the digital world and making your bedroom a tech-free zone can help you to unwind and feel ready for sleep. There are so many enjoyable analogue activities such as journaling which can remove the need for screens in the evening and which elevate your bedtime routine.
It is also important to optimise your lighting for sleep. Lumie wake-up lights promote your body’s natural sleep response through gradually fading light which mimics the stages of a sunset. As a result, you feel ready for sleep and drift off naturally. In the morning, you can wake naturally with a Lumie sunrise, rousing your gradually and leaving you feeling refreshed and ready for the day.
Howatson, G., Bell, P. G., Tallent, J., Middleton, B., McHugh, M. P., & Ellis, J. (2012). Effect of tart cherry juice (Prunus cerasus) on melatonin levels and enhanced sleep quality. European journal of nutrition, 51, 909-916.
Kandasamy, P., & Shanmugapriya, C. (2015). Medicinal and nutritional characteristics of fruits in human health. Journal of Medicinal Plants Studies, 4(4), 124-131.
Lin, H. H., Tsai, P. S., Fang, S. C., & Liu, J. F. (2011). Effect of kiwifruit consumption on sleep quality in adults with sleep problems. Asia Pacific journal of clinical nutrition, 20(2), 169-174.
Richard, D. M., Dawes, M. A., Mathias, C. W., Acheson, A., Hill-Kapturczak, N., & Dougherty, D. M. (2009). L-tryptophan: basic metabolic functions, behavioral research and therapeutic indications. International Journal of Tryptophan Research, 2, IJTR-S2129.